CHICAGO -- The next generation of scientists from Minnesota and the rest of the nation are making themselves known. The Biotechnology Institute has sponsored another international competition for high school scientists here at BIO 2013 and Minnesota’s finalist is Rena Weis from New Prague High School. She did her research on the impact of biochar (look it up) on soils and greenhouse gases. The fact that she did it all by herself, at home, without the help of a university connection, caught the eye of the judges. Also in the competition this year is Michelle Campeau, who was also present at the BIO conference. The international overall winner will be announced later today. That person will get to go to the White House. Rena says she finds the conference very exciting and is especially thrilled as she is from, in her words “a small town in Minnesota.” We tried to explain to her that that is a plus, as many of us have learned. Minnesota, all of Minnesota, is very widely respected here and with good reason.